Greece in health crisis
In the wake of devastating floods, health challenges continue to mount in Greece. According to the Efimerida ton Sintakton newspaper, the Thessaly region is now facing a spike in gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, and newly reported cases of salmonella.
During a recent briefing at the Coordinating Operations Centre in Larissa, Deputy Minister of Health Irini Agapidaki reported 53 new gastroenteritis cases and 66 respiratory infection cases within the last 24 hours. Cumulatively, these numbers have reached 234 and 254, respectively.
While Mrs. Agapidaki attempted to provide a reassuring stance, she confirmed the presence of two more salmonella cases in the area.
The aftermath of the floods has also seen a rise in hospital admissions. Agapidaki noted five recent entries at the General Hospital of Larissa due to gastroenteritis and three at the General Hospital of Trikala, totaling 15 hospitalizations. Respiratory concerns have led to one admission at Volos General Hospital and seven at Larissa General Hospital, with 13 hospitalizations.
Meanwhile, despite initial hopes, the water supply in Volos still needs to be deemed safe for drinking. The potential for soil contamination has raised alarm bells in Thessaly. Professor Demosthenes Sarigiannis from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki has underscored the urgency for immediate decontamination. He expressed grave concerns about both water and soil contamination.
Similarly, Professor Athena Linou, an epidemiology expert, voiced concerns over the imminent rapid spread of diseases. She urged immediate vaccinations against tetanus and hepatitis A as protective measures.
Highlighting another looming threat, Professor Dimitris Kouvelas from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki pointed out the dangers associated with decaying animal carcasses. These pose a risk of microbial proliferation, leading to infectious disease outbreaks. The potential for birds and other wildlife to act as disease vectors was also emphasized, especially with the reduction of forested areas due to fires.